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New Silencer Food From CCI

CCI, the 800-lb gorilla of the 22LR world, will be rolling out two new products in 2019 that should prove of interest to rimfire silencer shooters. The new products are CCI's “CLEAN-22,” a subsonic polymer-coated round, and the “QUIET-22 SEMI-AUTO,” a more traditional lead, low-noise round.


A little background… Back in 2013, CCI was seeing interest in suppressor-specific ammunition when they had begun the subcontracting of Gemtech's Silencer Subsonic 22 ammo. They took their first in-house swing at the genre in 2014 with their 45 grain/970fps, creatively-named “Suppressor” ammunition in Federal American Eagle and CCI variants.

Not content to just make quieter 22 ammo marketed towards making suppressed shooting less noisy, they had a development up their sleeves that would also make the notoriously dirty round cleaner and thus more suppressor-friendly on that front: A plastic-jacketed rimfire cartridge. This coating was first used in CCI's Christmas-themed 350-round holiday packs of green-and-red tipped supersonic rounds.

It looked like mini-sized versions of Federal Premium’s Syntech pistol round (it’s not the same mix though: the rimfire uses more of a traditional powder coating, not the low-friction polymer jacket as in the Syntech). But the rimfire coatings still replace traditional bare lead or copper jacketing. With no direct metal-on-metal contact on the bore and rifling, these multi-hued bullets theoretically will generate less heat, which helps to extend barrel life as well as reduce lead and copper fouling in the bore. While those “Christmas rounds” were supersonic, suppressor shooters took note and started asking if they could pretty please get that coating on a subsonic version?

Flashing forward to 2019, CCI is making that particular wish happen with their CLEAN-22 ammo, offered in both sub and super velocities. They make the claim that the “…exclusive polymer bullet coating greatly reduces lead fouling in the barrel without leaving a residue. It also cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent.” 

CLEAN-22 will be available in red nose supersonic, and blue nose subsonic. Red tip 944CC has a 40 grain round nose bullet flying past the sound barrier at 1235 feet per second, whereas the Blue tip 934CC is a 40 grain projo heading out at 1070 feet per second. Velocities will, of course, be lower in shorter barrel rifles and handguns, ensuring no supersonic crack under most all conditions in common firearm barrel lengths. Both come nicely boxed up in CCI's 100 round plastic trays. (And we'd be remiss to not make note of their snappy new logo and box-branding changes for the new year. They seemed quite proud of it.) Either flavor MSRP’s at $9.95 a box.PHOTO3_CCI_2000x1333_BODY

If you prefer your silencer food even less loud and don't mind the traditional lead, the other CCI 2019 release is their “QUIET-22 SEMI AUTO” (Gotta give someone their credit for coming up with completely un-ambiguous product names.) They claim the QUIET-22 SEMI AUTO round is quieter, and “drastically reduces the volume of standard 22 LR rounds, while cycling flawlessly through semi-automatic rifles and handguns. The accurate, low-velocity loads provide the sensation of shooting through a suppressor— without the suppressor.”


Who needs that pesky $200 tax anyway?

Initial press release copy claimed this round cut “the noise level of 22 LR rounds by 75 percent” and other release copy from them reads a 75 percent reduction in “perceived noise”. They may have backed away from specifics in current wording for a number of reasons, but keep in mind that while a 75% reduction sounds pretty big, but that translates out to around a 6dB difference. But 6dB less than what? After reaching out to CCI, they sort-of-clarified that this is as compared to “standard 22 LR rounds” (?) and that these measurements were made at the shooter’s ear with a “calibrated sound meter.” Regardless, it’s interesting stuff, so we’ll be looking forward to seeing what sort of numbers these rounds post in independent testing!

Mystery dBs notwithstanding, what we know for sure is that the CCI QUIET-22 SEMI-AUTO (Part # 975CC) lobs a 45-grain lead roundnose at 735 feet per second, so it should be on the low end of the speedometer for subsonic rounds. QUIET-22 makes its entrance on dealer's shelves in the traditional (and cheaper) paper 50-count boxes at $5.95 MSRP.

Like all of the CCI rimfire, it's proudly American-made in a free state, with their plant in Lewiston, ID cranking out all sorts of 22 ammo 24/7, all year long.

(RECOIL Disclosure: The author managed the development of the Gemtech Silencer Subsonic 22 alongside the now-retired Brett Olin, Senior Product Development Engineer, Vista Outdoor/CCI, but no longer has any financial interest in it.)


Kel Whelan is an independent consultant to industry and government on silencer business and technology with more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, design, sales, distribution, branding, and politics throughout the firearms industry. By way of disclosure, he was one of the three founding directors of the ASA, and he owned, managed, and sold a silencer company.




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